Monday, March 20, 2017

Book Publishing Secrets with Bruce Forciea, author of Alan 2



Bruce Forciea is known for taking complex scientific concepts and making them easy to understand through engaging stories and simple explanations. He is an Amazon Best Selling Author and author of several books on healing and biology, along with science fiction thriller novels. His fiction writing draws on a diverse and eclectic background that includes touring and performing with a professional show, designing digital circuits, treating thousands of patients, and teaching. His stories include complex plots with unexpected twists and turns, quirky characters, and a reality very similar to our own. Dr. Forciea lives in Wisconsin and loves writing during the solitude of the long Northern winters. 

Website & Social Links:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


About the Book:

A brilliant artificial intelligence (AI) scientist, Dr. Alan Boyd, develops a new program that integrates part of his brain with a computer’s operating system. The program, Alan 2, can anticipate a user’s needs and automatically perform many tasks. A large software company, International Microsystems
(IM) desperately wants the program and tempts Dr. Boyd with huge sums of money, but when Dr. Boyd refuses their offer, IM sabotages his job, leaving him in a difficult financial situation.

Dr. Boyd turns to Alan 2 for an answer to his financial problems, and Alan 2 develops plan Alpha, which is a cyber robin hood scheme to rob from rich corporations via a credit card scam.

Alan and his girlfriend Kaitlin travel to Mexico where they live the good life funded by plan Alpha, but the FBI cybercrime division has discovered part of Alan 2’s cyber escapades, and two agents, Rachel and Stu, trace the crime through the TOR network and Bitcoin.

Alan 2 discovers the FBI is on to them and advises Alan and Kaitlin to change locations. A dramatic chase ensues taking them to St. Thomas, a cruise ship bound for Spain, and finally to Morocco. 

Will they escape detection? They will if Alan 2's Plan Beta can be implemented in time. Or is 'Plan B' something altogether different than it appears to be, something wholly sinister that will affect the entire population of the world?
Watch the trailer at YouTube!

Purchase Information:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher


Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
I became an author about 12 years ago when I wrote my first non-fiction book. I always have a number of ideas rumbling around in my grey matter and once I developed the technical skills for writing I was able to get some of them down on paper. 
Is this your first book?
Alan 2 is my 8th book. I’ve written some non-fiction books, 2 novels and an anthology of science fiction short stories.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Alan 2 was published by Open Books, a small press. I have been with a medium-sized press and have self-published a couple of books as well. Open Books was the first to respond to my queries and I thought they had a good marketing plan.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Sure, I could do a seminar on this topic since I’ve been with traditional publishers and have experience self-publishing. I had another book published by Open Books, The X-Cure, and my contract gave them the right of first refusal for Alan 2. They decided to publish Alan 2 as well.
For The X-Cure, I started by contacting agents, then mid-sized to smaller publishers who accepted submissions. Open Books was the first publisher to respond to my query.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
 First of all, the industry has changed dramatically since my first book 10 years ago. It has become astronomically competitive since then.
One lesson I learned was to develop a social media platform and grow this as much as possible before submitting to publishers. Another, is to spend some time each week promoting your book, either through your platform, website or by scheduling personal appearances.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
I think it depends on the book. Authors have been successful with publishers and by self-publishing. For example, a non-fiction book that targets a niche may do well via self-publishing.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
That would be to get something published and become an author versus an aspiring author. I think a good way to learn about writing and publishing is by writing and publishing. This could be through self-publishing or by working with a publisher. The important thing is to get a project done and learn from it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Book Publishing Secrets with Liza Trevino, Author of 'All That Glitters'

Name: Liza Treviño
Book Title: All That Glitters: A Tale of Sex, Drugs and Hollywood Dreams
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Romance
Publisher: Koehler Books
Website: lizatrevino.com
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Liza: I’ve always been a reader and a writer, since I was a kid. I loved – love – all kinds of genres: horror, suspense, romance, but Jackie Collins, in particular, always held a special place in my heart. I adore her work and all Hollywood fiction.  I gobbled it up when I was a teenager.  Eventually, I was re-reading one of my favourites of hers while I was in grad school in Los Angeles, and it hit me.  Where is a Latina Lucky Santangelo? I wanted to read about a badass character like Lucky Santangelo, but I wanted her to be Latina. And that’s how it started for me. I began thinking about the popular stories I liked to read and decided I was going to create those kinds of stories but put a Latina at the center of the action.  That’s definitely something I wanted to read. I couldn’t find it, so I started writing
Is this your first book?
Liza: Yes, this is my first published book. I have second one currently being shopped by my agent. That one is a romantic comedy set at Christmas in San Antonio.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Liza: All That Glitters is a co-publishing deal with Koehler Books. I went this route because they offered a supportive and collaborative environment for developing my book at every stage of publication.  As a new author, it was important for me to work with seasoned professionals who loved the book and were invested in seeing my novel reach its full potential.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Liza: After I decided to seek publication for All That Glitters, I read all the articles in Writer’s Digest and on blogs about landing an agent.  So, I set to doing that. Which took some time. Queries, sample pages, follow-ups and rejections. Eventually, it did happen. Which was a great day! And, then the submission process began. And that was another lengthy process of queries, samples and waiting for responses.  So, the con of my journey is time.  There just isn’t any way around the fact that trying to get published takes a lot of time…and then, it may never occur. 
As for the editing process that I had with Koehler, the pros were many. Working with a great editor who gets the story is invaluable. It’s an amazing experience to collaborate on your work with someone who sees it with new, fresh eyes.  Of course, the con aligns closely with this, too.  It can be hard to hear that words, passages or scenes you slaved over just need to go. But, it’s part of the process and, ultimately, it does make the work stronger, and it helped me become a better writer.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Liza: That it’s very important to have a clear idea of what you want your message to be.  Whether it’s literary fiction, horror or Latina-driven stories, know why you write and who you’re writing for. If you know who you are as a writer, then all the challenges, rejections and comments from would be agents, editors or critics can’t sway your ultimate goal. There’s going to be a lot of rejection – that’s the nature of the business - but it doesn’t matter if you know why you’re writing.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Liza: Certainly. It’s a great way to have the infrastructure of a traditional publishing house and its expertise behind you, but you also get to participate in all the levels of publication, from editing, cover design and marketing. In this way, it’s like a crash course in the industry, from start to end.  Some writers don’t necessarily want to be involved in marketing process or selling, and I get that.  For me, however, participating in the marketing stage of the process is great because I like to think about things like branding and how best to promote the book. And, as I’m going after a new audience of readers who want to read a darker-edged Hollywood story set in the 1980s that features an ambitious, but sometimes self-destructive Latina who wants to be a film director, the outlets aren’t necessarily that obvious.  Nevertheless, I know that audience exists.  Who better than me to go searching and excavating that audience?
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Liza: Don’t give up. If you have a story you believe in and are passionate about, keep writing and finish that project. It will find its audience.

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About the book:

Alexandria Moreno – clever, sexy, ambitious and, at times, self-destructive – blazes a path from Texas to Los Angeles at the dawn of the 1980s to make her dreams of becoming an A-list Hollywood film director come true. She and her best friend arrive in Los Angeles with little more than hope and determination to make it big. Alex, her beauty as dark and mysterious as her scarred heart, stands at the bottom of the Hollywood mountain looking up, fighting for her chance to climb to the top. Will her quest to live fast and take no prisoners on her way to the top destroy her in the end?
All That Glitters is a women's fiction Jackie Collins-type saga that introduces a strong, driven Latina heroine at the center of a rags-to-riches story spanning a decade of action. Along the way, Alexandria walks the fine line separating ambition and self-destruction, and discovers that some sacrifices will cost her everything.

Advance Praise for All That Glitters

Kudos to Liza Treviño for giving us this unique image of the New Latina! I urge reading All that Glitters. You won’t regret it. – Graciela Limón, author
Treviño tells her story with wit, intelligence, and an undercurrent of sadness at the plight women face to make a name for themselves as human beings instead of strictly as women.” Jonathan Marcantoni, author and publisher of La Casita Grande Press


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Book Publishing Secrets with Harley Mazuk, Author of 'White with Fish, Red with Murder'

Name: Harley Mazuk
Book Title: White with Fish, Red with Murder
Genre: Mystery (private eye)
Publisher: Driven Press
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Harley: I could go way back, to a kid’s daydreams, or to a college student’s vague stirrings, but really, this book started a few months before my 50th birthday, when I decided to write a murder mystery game and assign roles to the guests at my birthday party. Some years later, I began to entertain serious thoughts about becoming a writer when I retired. I took the old scripts and dossiers for the murder mystery characters out of the drawer and began to turn it into a novel, White with Fish, Red with Murder. There’s a lot about this book that I just like, and wanted to write about—private eyes, dangerous dames, trains, wine. The book’s set in 1948, a period I like for detective fiction, as the investigation can be a human, personal thing—not technology---not DNA, GPS, cell phones, and the like. The book was a natural fit for me, and led me to being an author, and a lifelong interest in reading and writing led me to this book.
Is this your first book?
Harley: White with Fish is a first novel. I sold a long story or novelette of about 18,000 words to Dead Guns Press in 2014.

With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Harley: This is a small press book. I didn’t set out to do a small press book, but that method chose me. I tried to go traditional and even had an agent for about 18 months, a knowledgeable, honest agent whom I trusted. But she failed to sell it to traditional publisher. If it’s not one of the 20 or so biggest, they aren’t likely to pay an advance, and if there’s no advance, there’s nothing in it for the agent.
When my agent pulled out and the book reverted to me, I began querying some small presses that accept un-agented submissions. I think I’ve fallen in with a good one, Driven Press, which is small but seems very professional.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Harley: A writing teacher once suggested to me that the difference between published writers and unpublished writers is perseverance. I sent out more than 300 queries before getting my agent. This is probably more of a reflection on the marketplace or on my query writing abilities than it is on my book, as the manuscript generally doesn’t accompany the query. But it is a reflection on my perseverance.
One of the pros of a deal with a traditional or small press is that you get professional help turning your manuscript into a finished saleable product. I had excellent editing. Just having others read my manuscript and contribute their thoughts and talents makes the final product better. I also received some good quality cover art.
A couple of cons: Small presses don’t have much of a budget for promotion and publicity. To make money on your book, they need to keep costs down. So, if you want to get your book out to top reviewers, you’ll need a publicist.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Harley: As I said above, I learned reaching your goal takes perseverance. I also think an aspiring author should go to writing or publishing conferences that fit in with their interests—for example, I’ll soon be attending Malice Domestic and Bouchercon, a couple of the premier mystery writer events. Be friendly, be kind, listen. You may meet someone who can steer you to an agent or editor. And wouldn’t it be better to start your query with, “Stephen King mentioned to me that you enjoy detective stories like mine in which . . .” rather than just, “Sir or Madam, will you read my book?”
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Harley: Oh, yes. Unless you get a six-figure advance and a two-book deal from Scribner’s or Alfred A. Knopf, I strongly recommend a small press. I read a recent article in Fortune magazine indicating that there are billions of dollars in self-publishing—such as Amazon Kindle. And I’ve learned it’s easy to do, too. But unless you are a social media whiz, by which I mean unless you have as many Twitter followers as Lady Gaga, or can get your YouTube book trailer to go viral, your book may get lost out there among the thousands of titles.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Harley: Write regularly, hone your craft, and write what you like. Chances are, if you’ve learned the craft and turn out work you like, someone else will like it too.